Al Iaquinta returned to action this past weekend (Sat., April 22, 2017) after a near two-year hiatus due to a contract dispute with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), knocking out Diego Sanchez in the very first round at UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville, Tennessee (see it here).
It was a rather impressive performance, but not enough to win a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award. And it had Iaquinta “Raging,” as he took to social media to blast UFC for passing him over for the extra bonus cash.
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Al elaborated further on his disappointment.
“I don’t know whether they didn’t give it to me because I didn’t deserve it or whether they didn’t give it to me to kind of shaft me. They said in the past I wasn’t eligible to win bonuses, and maybe they are just sticking it to me,” he said. “The whole bonus thing is just retarded to me; excuse me, the whole bonus thing is just ridiculous. The fact that they are giving $50,000 bonuses is their little way to control everybody. I don’t know, I don’t like it, the way the whole thing happened.”
Despite four finishes in his last five wins, Al hasn’t received a bonus during his tenure with the promotion.
“For a guy that puts it out there like me, they should, I don’t know. I’ve never had a boring fight, I come to fight every time, I put on a show. Five fights in a row, four knockouts in the last five, and no bonus money, no shit, nothing. They suck. Whatever,” he added.
“Joe Lauzon, the bonus king, I knocked out the bonus king to get a bonus and nothing. Diego Sanchez, the guy is a legend that’s been around forever and how many bonuses has he won? I beat him and no bonus. Fuck them.”
Still, Iaquinta says he won’t ever be one to kiss up to the UFC higher ups, but admits he had to beg them to pay for a knee surgery after the promotion constantly gave him the run-around.
For Al -- who know works as a real estate agent — he is still lobbying for more pay after only receiving $26,000 to show and $26,000 to win for his fight against Diego. And he also had a little message to company president Dana White, who bashed all the performances at UFC 208 in Brooklyn a few months ago.
“I’m a professional freaking athlete, I was just on TV, FOX Sports 1, co-main event and $50,000 is what I walk away with? Are you kidding me? NFL players are making real money I should be buying houses on water, nice shit. This is fucking ridiculous,” said Al.
“And these guys are making all this money doing nothing. They are sitting there watching me fight. I’m the man, you are not. Dana White, he’s done a lot for this sport, but he doesn’t have one injury from this sport. For him to say the best part of UFC Brooklyn was the flight home, you are on a private jet, bro. Shut the fuck up,” he added.
“For most people, that’d be the highlight of their life. You were on a private jet, of course it’s the highlight of your night. There are guys in the cage getting hurt; Jim Miller, he got his fucking legs hurt, yeah he owes him an apology to all those motherfuckers. That is bullshit. Shut your fucking mouth.”
As for Al’s next move, there’s no telling when or if he will ever return to the Octagon. One thing is certain, though, things will be very tense once the negotiations resurface with the promotion.
In the end, Al says fighters need to open their eyes, come together and stop “taking it up the ass” and start fighting for more pay and overall respect from the promotion.